Platelet-targeted nanotechnology: a new approach to improve the efficacy of thrombolysis

Year of award: 2017


  • Dr Alan Harper

    Keele University

Project summary

Acute cardiovascular events such as heart attack and strokes are among the leading causes of premature death in the UK. Current treatment options include the use of thrombolysis to enzymatically breakdown the blood clot to re-establish blood flow through the blocked blood vessel. This treatment is limited by the short time window in which it is effective, and its potential to trigger intracranial haemorrhage.

We aim to create functionalised citrated magnetic nanoparticles (F-CA-MNPs) specifically targeted to activated platelets that can be used to both interfere with normal Ca2+ signalling pathways and to magnetically induce localised heating of the platelets to prevent clot retraction. By preventing clot retraction, we should be able to increase the porosity of the clot by preventing the compaction of the platelet aggregate.

We predict that our findings could facilitate the penetration of current thrombolytic reagents into the thrombi, enhancing the efficacy of this treatment and/or extending the time window over which this treatment could be used. These F-CA-MNPs could therefore be used to improve the safety and efficacy of current thrombolytic treatments.